Trinity arrived at my home on May 21st, 2018 and together we shared a great many ups and downs during her journey. She brought great joy and tears to my eyes watching her go from struggling to stand on 3 fractured legs to running in the plush grass chasing her new human siblings.
Discarded. Broken. Racked with Illness. Trinity was the 18 lb, 6-month-old female puppy with the sad brown eyes and unbelievable pain threshold. WARRIOR came to mind looking in those same eyes as I held her for the first time. Trinity wanted to live, she has the fight and a determination, unlike anything I had witnessed in dogs prior. K9 Enrichment Initiative has had its share of critically injured dogs, but this dog didn’t need to be encouraged to fight for her life, she was telling us that’s how she rolled.
Trinity underwent 3 surgeries to repair the 3 fractures, long tedious work was needed on the hind right leg. Her vet, Dr. Adam Conroy, declared it was going to be “difficult” and “tricky”. We all kept positive thoughts and held our breath as we waited to see if the plates would stick.
Not more than 5 days following surgery did the front leg fracture a second time and surgery was needed to reset it again. Then 3 days later, she showed no pain as she attempted to stand and a cast fell off the leg; frightened her then foster Mom enough for us to rush her to the ER at 1 am.
The next day brought a visit to the Veterinary Speciality Center in the early AM and she underwent yet another surgery to replace the plate in her hind leg by 7 pm that evening.
By morning, Trinity was standing and taking steps when I arrived to pick her up. No more casts, just a splint on the front leg to aid in healing and a harness to aid her walking. The journey had just begun.
Trinity needed around the clock care to ensure she ate, drank, relieved herself and did NOT get up and walk. I slept on a mattress next to her crate alongside my two dogs watching over her. Made it far easier to do potty breaks throughout the night and Trinity was a quick learner.
We began walking 3 minutes the first day, three times per day for 3 days, then upped the minutes to 5, 8, 11, 15, and so on until she could walk for 45 minutes without stopping for a break. I needed a break, it was the middle of the summer; but not her. She loved circling the block taking in life.
I kept a chart on my refrigerator to track the work we did and darn if this dog didn’t progress right on schedule. I had to stop her from wanting to take off running once she got the hang of using the front leg splint.
We would practice going up and down the front porch step, stretching the legs and massaging them at night using CBD oil along the sutures. Still unable to have a bath since the moment she arrived, I wiped her down nightly in an attempt to keep her from stinking. I think she found it funny being called “Stinky” and would be gracious sometimes in letting me clean her.
She refused to take pills and would spit them right back at me. She wouldn’t be tricked into taking them hidden in peanut butter, cheese, hot dogs, meatballs, or wet dog food, the list went on and on. Each time for medication became a battle of me shoving them down her throat and her spitting up on me.
Weekly trips to the vet for 5 weeks to have the front leg bandages changed and the sutures examined. Then came the big moment, splint and sutures removed, her walking 45 minutes twice a day to build muscle meant it was time for radiographs to check the plates and healing bones.
What a beautiful August day, the 29th was when her surgeon walked back into the room and told us, “They are perfect, let Trinity start to be a dog again”.
It was then I admitted that in the prior month, Trinity climbed on top of her crate and jumped over the 42″ high x pen wall to escape. I asked her surgeon if she meant “a dog like that?”
Trinity went to therapy sessions, she could already pass all the tests. She could stand on a balancing board and surf. She had no issues going up or coming down the stairs, my home has 3 sets of 6 she repeatedly used daily. She could step over the poles and weave through the cones, she was a rockstar.
The search was now on for the perfect family who would love her for all her quirks if you can call bull-headed, a quirk.
A young mother and 10-year-old twin daughters came out to the ball game at Slammer’s Park in Joliet to meet Trinity after having read about her on our page. The young girls spent 20 minutes petting her gently, Trinity ate up the attention.
In September, I had a conference to attend out of town and needed a sitter for Trinity. This family agreed to watch her for 3 days. Trinity drove them crazy with her antics and the Mom said she didn’t think they would be able to take on fostering her.
October rolled around and I needed a sitter again, I begged and Mom agreed Trinity could spend another 3 days with them as she already knew them and their home. Trinity worked her magic and again drove the Mom crazy with her behavior. I had a talk with Trin that this was not the way to make friends and influence people.
But this time, two days later in speaking with her future Mom about the cons and pro’s I needed to know about Trinity when she wasn’t with me; she asked if Trinity could come back and give it a real go. They would agree to foster her for at least 3 weeks and then make a decision.
Trinity moved in, began working with a trainer and slowly over time she agreed to let Grandma in the home. Grandpa is still struggling, but she is getting better. She also improved in allowing the grandparent’s dog to come over and go for walks with her. Trinity loved playing with her foster siblings and fellow rescue dogs, but she was being Trinity the brat with her new pal Layla.
When I visited in November, Trinity no longer clung to me, instead she followed the girls about the house, checking in to say hello. She had gained weight, she took her medications & supplements with a finger of peanut butter, hassle-free. She still battled putting on her winter coat but improvement had been made. We bought her a metal leash as she proved she could bite through the nylon ones in a matter of seconds once in her mouth. Trinity killed 6 nylon leads during her stay with me during the 5 months. A rescue record for destroyed leads by one dog.
She celebrated her 1st birthday with a cake and presents, had a sleepover with her sisters in one of their rooms, she destroys every new stuffy toy she gets and now can be trusted to sit nicely on the sofa next to Mom without biting the sofa. She still hops around dancing like a jackrabbit, jumping like a kangaroo and living up to her nicknames “tippy toes” and “crazy legs”.
On December 18th, Trinity put paw to paper and adopted her new family. I shed tears of sadness as she will always hold a special place in my heart, how can she not, she taught me a great deal about not giving up; but also tears of joy knowing we had found the perfect match for her in this loving, gentle family where she no longer has to be a Warrior Princess and can just be a princess.
Trinity would not have been afforded the top-notch medical care if it were not for the generosity of over 430 donors to her fund. When it was said and done, Trinity’s total care for surgery, medications, vet follow up appointments, radiographs, supplements, supplies, and therapy came to around $9,000.00 dollars.
I know in my heart, it was money well spent on a warrior dog who wanted to live life to the fullest and now has a young family to share that life.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and from my rescue teams and two very happy twin girls who have the “best dog” in the whole world.
People have asked about the excess funds raised for Trinity and we are happy to say that the money was put towards saving Kyla Grace who was run over by a vehicle, tearing off her front limb and crushing her femur head in her hind leg detaching it from her hip. Kyla underwent surgery at Veterinary Specialty Center and followed the same strict recovery as Trinity, just not as lengthy.
Kyla Grace was adopted by her foster family after she was given the all clear in September. She is a very active tripod with two male canine siblings and her parents who adore her with all their hearts.
Funds were also used for the rehabilitation of Ivy April who had been shot in the hind leg and beaten over the head with a beer bottle. Ivy’s leg was saved, surgery closed the tear in the skin across her head. You would never know her leg was fractured by a bullet or her head cut open. Her orthopedic specialist called her “his miracle pup”. Ivy April is scheduled for adoption next week.
Three dogs whose lives would have ended at the shelter were given their second chance by receiving critical medical care. You may have donated to Trinity, but in the end, you saved 3 lives. We applaud your caring hearts and generosity.
Thank you to St. Francis CARE for transferring & transporting Trinity to us in allowing her to have that second chance. To Sally Brusveen for transporting Trinity the last 3 hours on that first night. To Dr. Adam Conroy & Staff for your skills and care provided to Trinity at South Elgin Animal Clinic. To Premier Veterinary for their emergency care of Trinity and their orthopedic department for Ivy April’s care. To Veterinary Speciality Center for their skilled surgeons and the work, they performed on Trinity Grace and Kyla Grace. To Dr. Simon of Minooka Animal Hospital for Trinity’s follow up care and bandage changes. To Carol Jurca and her staff at Canine Physical Rehab for their work with Trinity and Kyla. Thank you to KEI’s tribe of Jeanne Patinka, Asst. Director of K9 Enrichment Initiative, volunteers Becka Tatooles, Mark Kemp and Jessica Quintanar. A special thanks to Trinity’s champion, Melissa Rock, “Pudge’s Mom”.
To Heather and daughters, Lily and Abby, thank you for loving our girl as much we all do. Trinity, “live the good life, you worked for it. Thanks for giving us a second chance at showing you, humans are kind. Love always your rescue Mama.”